# Tagged Questions

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### What happens to light at sharp points? [closed]

At the tip of the sharp point shown, what will happen to light incident on it. This curiosity was invoked by a friend and also my childhood of watching shiny pointed swords in cartoons. Original ...
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### How to understand “the speed of propagation of the condition of constant phase”?

I still can't understand that the phase can be a constant until now. If the phase is constant, from the $$y(x,t) = a \times \sin(phase)$$ the shape of wave will be a line parallel to x-axis.But I ...
489 views

### Why is Huygens' principle only valid in an odd number of spatial dimensions?

Apparently Huygens' principle is only valid in an odd number of spatial dimensions: http://mathoverflow.net/a/5396/21349 Huygen's principle in curved spacetimes Why is this? [EDIT] This is ...
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### Trouble understanding phase matching equation

consider a 2nd order non linear optical material, i.e. a material in which it holds that $P = \epsilon_0 E + 2dE^2$. In the Born approximation, the non linear contribution to the polarization density ...
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### Total internal reflection and waveguides

I'm looking at a model of a planar dielectric waveguide along the lines of this picture: For the wave inside the $n_1$ dielectric slab to totally internally reflect $\theta_M$ needs to be smaller ...
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### How is the imaginary part of angular frequency omega related to the imaginary part of the refractive index?

I'm trying to find the attenuation constant (leak rate) $\alpha$ from the imaginary part of the refractive index of a lossy material. I have the eigen frequency $\omega$ for my structure which has an ...
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### Reflection & Transmission curves of waveguides

I have simulated a grating-coupled waveguide in Comsol Multiphysics, the waveguide consists of 2 dielectric layers and air as the cover of waveguide. I have excited the modes of this structure by a ...
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### Direct optical observation of the Arago spot: what would one see?

The Arago/Poisson spot is an excellent example of a constructive interference of diffracted light. In the traditional experimental layout, you observe projected light on the screen. The theory in this ...
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### Infinite plane wave and ray vectors

I want to clear my mind on one basic optics thing: If I have a point source some distance away from a lens, the position of the image formed can be found using traditional geometrical optics ray ...
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### Snells Law: Does the $k$ vector change on the boundary between mediums?

I was using Waves - Berkley Physics Volume III, and in explaining Snell's Law the author claims that as a wave is on the boundary between glass and air (going from glass to air) that the number of ...
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### Why a minus in the equation of a paraxial plane wave?

paraxial plane wave = $\exp{(-jkz)}$ for waves propagating to the right I can't figure out why it's not $\exp{(+jkz)}$. Any help would be greatly appreciated, thank you.
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### Locations of destructive interference for two spherical waves

I have looked at this, but it did not help with locations. Really this just comes down to mathematical manipulation, which for some reason I fail to see. Here is my paraphrased setup: Consider two ...
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### When polarized light hits a polarizer, what happens to the polarization which is not transmitted?

It is typically said that in polarization of light only those waves can pass through a polaroid which has a plane of vibration parallel to the axis of polaroid. My question is: what happens to the ...
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### How to calculate loss due to Gaussian beam divergence of a laser going through multiple lenses?

To better explain my question, I will need to give a brief description of the configuration used in 2D MEMS switches. So, the next figure shows a configuration of a 2D MEMS switch, a light beam ...
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### How is the width of a slit related to the intemsity of light passing through it?

Here's a question I got in my final exam this morning. "If in a Young's double slit experiment setup, the ratio of intensity of the bright spot to the dark spot is 25:9, what is the ratio of the width ...
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### Query regarding interference

In Young's Double Slit experiment, why is it that two waves vibrating perpendicular to each other doesn't show interference? I know that for interference to happen, the waves must be coherent ( i.e., ...
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### Help in understanding the derivation for Fresnel Distance?

An Aperture of size $a$ illuminated by a parallel beam sends diffracted beam (the central maxima) in angular width approximately $λ/a$. Travelling a distance $z$, it aquires the width $zλ/a$ due to ...
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### Diffraction by a lens

The fraunhoffer treatment of circular apertures yields a diffraction pattern of circles, with the first minimum (dark ring) at an angular radius of $\theta$ where $\sin(\theta)=1.22\lambda/b$, where ...
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### Fresnel distance and Geometrical limit

I read about the geometrical limit of wave theory. The source from where I read had a slightly different explanation to provide than here(The more rigorous answer is too complicated for me to ...
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### Diffracton at the edges of an opaque object?

To understand the phenomenon of diffraction as an interference effects of several dipole oscillators (like in case of several symmetrical, not sawtooth, scratches in a diffraction grating), we ...
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### How to be sure that a He-Ne laser light is monochromatic

How can I be sure that the emission of a He-Ne laser contains only one single mode of laser cavity? The only thing that I know is that if I use a diffraction grating and the light isn't ...
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### Why does a light wave invert at a boundary with greater index of refraction?

Is there a reason why a EM wave reflects invertedly when it meets a boundary point with a greater index of refraction. In the case of ropes, if remember correctly, the reason why it inverts is to ...
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### Third order optical mixing

It's pretty straight-forward to visualise second-order non-linear optical mixing processes in which two waves of frequencies $\omega_{1}$ and $\omega_{2}$ mix up to generate new waves of different ...
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### A difference between Plane Wave and Collimated?

Collimation is clearly in reference to ray($\vec{k}_{xy}$ vector) orientation unlike waterfront continuity( $\phi_{xy}$ phase shift) described by plane-wave. Not to say that one is not directly ...
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### Source of beating phenomena of a Michelson interferometer?

I was discussing the reason why we see beating from a Michelson interferometer, and one of my friend said it 's because the light have different frequencies, therefore, they would be out of phase. ...
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### Polarization of light

So for my experimental optics class, I had to create a device that would emit horizontally polarized light such that its intensity is independent of an incoming linearly polarized beam of arbitrary ...
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### Difference between propagating and evanescent waves

Currently I am reading about super lens and came across these two waves, propagating and evanescent. If a negative index material is used as a lens then both propagating and evanescent can be passed ...
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### Simulating the Interference Pattern of Fraunhofer Diffraction by a Single Slit

I'm attempting to simulate the Fraunhofer diffraction pattern due to a single slit. We know that the intensity at an angle $\theta$ is $I(\theta)=I_0 \text{sinc} ^2(\beta)$ where ...
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### Difference Between Fraunhofer and Fresnel Diffraction

What is the difference between Fraunhofer diffraction and Fresnel diffraction? I mean diffraction is just bending of light waves or waves in general around a point. So how can there be two types of ...
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### Why is a $\pi$ phase added on reflection and why do things change with absorption? [duplicate]

Mathematically, how does a $\pi$ phase shift appear upon reflection of light off a optically denser medium? Why is it always $\pi$? If the medium is absorptive it is no longer $\pi$?
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### Huygens wave theory not applicable to lasers or parallel beams of light?

According to Huygens wave theory, every point on a wavefront acts as a secondary source of waves. Using this principle we can never have pretty narrow parallel beams of light right? Like lasers? ...
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### Optimal slit width in Young's double slit experiment

I'm trying to do Young's double slit experiment at home. Note that I don't have a laser, only a torch. I could get a bulb or use a candle though, if it helps I built the slits by cutting into a ...
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### What is the meaning of “CW” in LASER?

I am reading a user's manual, and the word appears here. At first, I think "CW" means "center wave". But later, I find that the meaning of "CW" is "continuous wave". It makes me confused. ...
330 views

### Blocking an IR camera [closed]

What kind of material would be best to block an IR camera? Would Silicon work? (e.g the Silicon typically used in iPhone cases) Rather than covering the object/subject, I'm interested in fully ...
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### Cross-section of a wave packet

In text books, wave packets are one-dimensional drawings. But we live in a three-dimensional world. Suppose a wave packet from a HI-cloud (frequency 1420 MHz) is approaching the earth, distance about ...
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### about laser wavelength and wave form

I watched a short introduction video online. There are few concepts which are a bit confusing. 1) The video said the laser is single mode (monochromatic), the wavelength is 780nm, so what is that ...
288 views

### Factors affecting the size of a shadow

What factors affects the size of a shadow and how would you derive the diameter of a shadow of a circular object on a flat screen?
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### Is there a way to create a flickering frequency to be dependent on speed of the person looking at it?

Is there a way to make a screen or a road sign flash at different rates, depending on the velocity of the observer looking at it? I would like to achieve a state where two observers going at ...
280 views

### Eikonal approximation for wave optics. Why follow the unit vector parallel to the Pointing vector?

The description of the passage from wave optics to geometrical optics claims that light rays are the integral curves of a certain vector field (the Pointing vector direction, normalized to 1). Here ...
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### Can light be canceled by merging with an inverted wave?

Can light waves be canceled by merging them with their inverted waves? Seems like it would violate conservation of energy but waves are added together when they overlap, right? Where is the flaw in ...
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### Circular polarization of variable-frequency light by 3D cinema glasses

A dominant method to obtain 3D images in the cinemas seems to be circular polarization. Separate pictures are projected with (alternating) circular polarization filters and passive glasses of the ...
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### Good books about waves and optics [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What’s a good textbook to learn about waves and oscillations? Where is a good place to learn (classical) optics? I'm looking for a good book about waves and optics, ...
252 views

### Width of Gaussian Beam and Refractive Index

I know that in free space, the width of a Gaussian beam can be written as $W=W_0\sqrt{1+(\frac{z}{z_0})^{2}}$. However, I was wondering if it was possible to express this width as a function of ...
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### Transmission of Gaussian Beam Through Graded-Index Slab

The $ABCD$ matrix of a glass graded-index slab with refractive index $n(y)=n_0(1-\frac{1}{2}\alpha^{2}y^{2})$ and length $d$ is $A=\cos(\alpha d)$, $B=\frac{1}{\alpha}\sin(\alpha d)$, \$C=-\alpha ...
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### Intensity of the diffraction pattern of the double slit

I am trying another approach for my last unanswered question. (Bounty still on for 3 days. Anyone? Please?) Note that this is not the same question but a greatly simplified version concerning a much ...
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### Conservation of energy with Huygens-Fresnel principle

I am currently experimenting with Huygens-Fresnel principle. I am trying to simulate the propagation of a beam, emerging from an aperture slot of width w. I assume the slot to be long and therefore ...
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### How does infrared light 'erase' phosphorescence on zinc sulfide?

I found some sheets of zinc sulfide in my basement that phosphoresce green for up to 24 hours or so after exposure to bright light in the violet range or shorter. One of the first things I tried was ...
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### How to compute the intensity of a polarized wave going through a polaroid?

If an electromagnetic wave is linearly polarized, the intensity of the light that goes through a polaroid is proportional to the square of the cosine of the angle between the polarization plane and ...